Making “The Internet is for Everyone” Even More Real in 2011
Lynn St. Amour, President and CEO of the Internet Society
01 January 2011
Dear Members, Friends, and Colleagues,
As we enter 2011, it seems appropriate to reflect on the past year. For the
Internet itself, 2010 will be marked as the year the number of Internet
users surpassed 2 billion. While media reports focused on the sheer
magnitude of the number, we understand the true significance is that the
Internet provides each and every user the opportunity to improve and enrich
their lives as well as the lives of others.
At the Internet Society, our strength lies in a shared vision, expressed by
“The mission of the Internet Society is to promote the open development,
evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout
This Mission is realized through the actions of a global community of
individual Members, Internet Society Chapters, member organizations, and our
partners in the Internet Ecosystem. Each of us working to ensure that in the
future, Internet users will continue to have access to the same open, global
Internet we benefited from.
A testament to our collective efforts, I am extremely pleased to report that
we have seen increased impact and significant growth in virtually all areas
of the Society’s activities over the past year. The Internet Society
community is larger and more active today than any time in its history. Over
the past year, the number of active Chapters increased by nearly 50%, and we
added a significant number of new Organizational members. In addition, the
number of individual Members increased to 45,000, and we set a target of
doubling the number of individual Members each year for the next five years,
with a goal of 1 million members by 2017.
A key investment area in 2010, and one that continues into 2011, is the
further empowerment of Internet Society Chapters and Regional Bureaus. In
2010, we focused on building local roots and global engagement. In
conjunction with Chapters, twelve INET events were held, as well as five
regional Chapter workshops. Staff and members developed Chapter toolkits and
Primers on a variety of issues such as Public Policy, Mobilizing Volunteers,
and Network Neutrality. And, we provided substantial additional direct
funding opportunities for Chapter activities.
Through the launch of the Next Generation Leaders programme – built on the
successful Internet Society Fellowship to the Internet Engineering Task
Force, and the Internet Governance Forum Ambassadors programme – we expanded
our efforts to foster Internet knowledgeable policy makers and policy savvy
technologists around the world. And, wherever we could, we helped catalyze
support for a multistakeholder approach to discussions about Internet
We advocated globally for the deployment of technologies key to the future
of the Internet, such as IPv6 and DNSSEC. On the Development front, we
actively supported the launch of several IXPs in Africa, and supported many
other regional developmental efforts and policy forums, such as the
Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) in Latin America.
The coming year holds the promise of even greater accomplishments and
growth. As outlined in the multi-year Business Plan recently approved by the
Internet Society Board of Trustees, we plan to take additional steps to
support local globally integrated action in support of our Mission.
Strengthening support to and providing additional resources for the five
Internet Society Regional Bureaus will be a central focus.
We continue to build our leadership development efforts, such as the Next
Generation Leaders programme, and embed them in all we do. Revenue growth
and diversification remains a key developmental area and we will focus on
mission integral programme expansion as well as new opportunities to deliver
substantial growth in 2011 and beyond. In addition, we have elevated our
priority on Strategic Development programmes; these will be driven from the
Office of the President and CEO while shifting full responsibility to our
Regional Bureaus for implementation of all regional programmes. There are so
many highlights from the past year, and exciting possibilities for the year
ahead, that it is simply not possible to recognize them all here.
However, at this time of year, when those closest to us are usually
remembered, I would like to recognize the Internet Society Members,
Chapters, Board of Trustees, and staff for all their contributions, as well
as the Board and staff at the Public Interest Registry (PIR), who through
their support enable much of our success. I also extend thanks to our
colleagues in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet
Architecture Board (IAB), and the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF)
without whose contributions and dedication to an open Internet, the Internet
as we know it, would not exist.
By focusing on collaboration and keeping our Mission central to all we do,
we will all help to make ISOC’s Vision “The Internet is for Everyone” even
more of a reality in 2011.
Warm regards and best wishes to all of you and your families.
President & CEO, Internet Society